Randy Travis, wife Mary thank AI for giving him his voice back: ‘It’s been magical’

'Forever and Ever, Amen' singer makes rare public appearance at ACM Awards

Randy Travis and his wife, Mary, are still in awe of the artificial intelligence that allowed him to sing again.

"When I first heard it, I couldn’t hear much because I was crying so hard," Mary told Fox News Digital on the ACM red carpet.

She accompanied Randy, adding, "When Randy watched it, it was beautiful because I watched him go from listening real intently to this pensive emotion to a smile and then an all-out laughter. It was just an overwhelming feeling to hear his voice and a new song because he had heard his own voice so many times with the old songs, but this one was a brand-new one. And so it was just beautiful."

Travis suffered a major stroke in 2013 after his hospitalization for viral cardiomyopathy stemming from a respiratory infection. 

Randy Travis and Mary Travis posing together

Mary Travis told Fox News Digital that when she first heard the AI recreation of Randy Travis' voice, she "couldn’t hear much because I was crying so hard." (Jason Kempin/Getty Images/File)


The stroke left Travis with aphasia, limiting his ability to speak and sing. Mary does much of the talking for him, telling "CBS Sunday Morning" that he knows what he wants to say but isn’t able to get it out.

But now, thanks to new AI models, Travis’ voice has been recreated and used on a new song, "Where That Came From."


Travis, wife call AI ‘magical’ for giving him back his voiceVideo

"It’s given Randy back the ability to make the music," Mary said, her arm around her husband’s shoulder, "to do the things that he loved to do more than anything in the world. And if people could just imagine if their greatest passion was taken from them, what would you hope for? So, our hope and our prayer for 11 years was ‘Please let us make music again,’ right?"

Travis agreed as she continued, "And now that he can, it’s been magical. We like to call it ‘artistic intelligence’ because to watch he and [record producer] Kyle [Lehning] work together, to make this song out of 42 song stems of his, with James Dupree laying down the [vocals], it was amazing to watch."

Randy Travis and Mary Travis posing together at the Kentucky Derby

Mary described the AI recreation of Travis' voice as "magical." (Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Churchill Downs/File)


"And we’re hoping that AI will be used for good from now on and not pirated, not robbing from the artist," Mary added.

Travis’ new song was announced this month.

"Eleven years ago I never thought I would be able to have a hand in music production of any kind," Travis said in a statement to Fox News Digital. "But by God’s grace and the support of family, friends, fellow artists and fans, I’m able to create the music I so dearly love. Working with Kyle Lehning and Warner Music Nashville again has been so special and nostalgic, and I'm so excited to share my new song 'Where That Came From' with you today. Many thanks to my wonderful team and the best fans in the world for putting me back in the saddle again! I’ve enjoyed every moment of it."

The "Forever and Ever, Amen" singer’s appearance on the ACM red carpet marked a rare public outing.

Travis took photos with fans at the recent 59th Academy of Country Music Awards at The Star in Frisco, Texas. (John Shearer/Getty Images for ACM)


Travis said being at the show was "good," and Mary noted that it was a local visit from them at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

"Being at the ACMs, No. 1, in my hometown is nice, being raised here, and we live here, so it’s nice that it’s close to home," she said. "But there’s just so much energy, there’s so many great people here, and we’re so happy that we get to be a part of the ACMs."

She said Travis has quite the history at the award show, having earned 11 awards over the years, including two top male vocalist wins.

Randy Travis and Clay Walker on stage at the ACMs

Travis presented an award at the ACMs with fellow country singer Clay Walker. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

"Randy has a history with them, and we took an 11-year sabbatical after the stroke, so it feels so good to be back; with Randy having a little bit of music out now, it gives it a whole new meaning," Mary said.

Travis also took the stage at the show to present an award with fellow country singer Clay Walker.

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